Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and the Bermuda Government announced today that they have reached a comprehensive, long-term agreement that calls for two of NCL’s newest and largest ships to be deployed to Bermuda for the next 10 years, commencing 2009 and running through 2018. These ships will predominantly depart from New York and Boston and will each sail at least 22 cruises per season, making extended calls in Bermuda. The combined itineraries of the two vessels will provide for overnights in Bermuda from Sunday through Friday. The agreement also calls for NCL to continue through the 10-year term its tradition of being the exclusive line to sail from Boston to Bermuda.
“Since NCL first began sailing to Bermuda, it has been one of our most popular itineraries, and we have developed a truly unique relationship with the community and government of our host destination,” said Colin Veitch, NCL’s president and CEO. “Over the past 15 years, we have deployed ships from more US homeports to meet the growing demand from US travelers to visit Bermuda. Our new 10-year agreement with Bermuda confirms NCL’s position as the leader in Bermuda cruising, plus we now have a solid basis on which to commit two of our fleet of brand new purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships long term – a significant upgrade from our perspective and from Bermuda’s.”
In 2009, Norwegian Spirit, with a double occupancy capacity of 2,000 guests, will sail from Boston to Bermuda, departing on Fridays, calling in Bermuda from Sunday through Wednesday. Norwegian Dawn, with a guest capacity of more than 2,200, will sail from New York on Sundays, calling in Bermuda from Wednesday through Friday. Also in 2009, Norwegian Majesty (the ship which has served NCL’s Boston-Bermuda business for 15 years) will sail to St. George’s, Bermuda from Charleston, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
“NCL has been a loyal and productive partner in helping us rebuild the reputation of our tourism product. I am proud to say this ongoing partnership will continue now for at least another ten years,” said Bermuda’s Premier, Dr. the Hon. Ewart F. Brown. “This proves once again that major players in the global tourism industry are bullish on Bermuda – and they are bullish for the long term.”
As part of the agreement, NCL will partner with Bermuda’s Department of Tourism and Chamber of Commerce to contribute to the Bermuda experience. This includes becoming one of the sponsors for the annual Bermuda Music Festival, supporting the St. George’s Foundation and the Bermudian Heritage Association, and developing a new program to continue encouraging cruise guests to dine in restaurants ashore.
This 10-year agreement follows NCL’s announcement In May 2007 of its largest deployment to Bermuda in the company’s history with its 2008 itineraries from five East Coast cities. The 2008 Bermuda itineraries include: Norwegian Dawn sailing from New York, featuring the city’s only seven-day cruise to Bermuda; Norwegian Dream replacing Norwegian Majesty sailing from Boston offering Boston’s only Bermuda cruise; and Norwegian Majesty sailing to Bermuda from three cities: Philadelphia, Baltimore and Charleston.
NCL Corporation Ltd. is the holding company for various subsidiary companies involved in owning and operating the ships of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America and Orient Lines.
NCL plans to build two new third generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery in 2010. NCL today has the youngest fleet in the industry, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea, and has recently added its latest new ship, the 2,400 passenger Norwegian Gem.